Ola Play, the cab aggregator’s entertainment service for riders, is incorporating streaming services Eros Now and ALT Balaji (the Eros Now partnership was announced last month). Riders will be able to access content of both services either from their own smartphones or from an Android tablet mounted on the back of Ola cabs’ front seat. While a limited portion of ALT Balaji’s content will be available on Ola Play, all free movies and videos from Eros Now will be available on the platform. Ola Play has also added POPxo, a website targeted at Indian women.
Ola Play is currently available in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bangalore. The service first launched with music streaming app Apple Music, audio tour app Audio Compass, streaming service Sony LIV, comedy collective All India Bakchod, and online shopping website Fynd. The service allows users to even adjust air conditioning in some car models. Ola says that content on the platform will be customised depending on customer preferences and ride information like time and destination to provide content that matches the expected duration of the ride. Ola Play uses a combination of Android and proprietary tech developed by Ola.
Nikhil adds: ALT Balaji is probably looking to increase distribution of its free-to-play content, in the hope that users subsequently download the app on their own phones and purchase a subscription. For Ola, the hope probably is that as more and more content gets added to the service, people sitting in cabs will put down their own phones and play content on Ola Play. Frankly, if the idea was to get users to upgrade their ride to Ola Prime using Ola Play, high-speed WiFi in the car is probably a better hook than a connected tablet. Then again, with more connections upgrading to 4G each month, even that isn’t a great hook anymore.
The only thing it probably counts for is press coverage for Ola and the partner…like in this post here. Ola recently partnered with Airtel to stream movies and music from the latter’s Wynk apps, allow payments from the Airtel Payments Bank, and pay for satellite TV and prepaid mobile recharges using Ola’s mobile wallet service Ola Money. Last month, it announced that it would start allowing UPI payments, and credit card payments on a credit basis.
ALT Balaji has been making partnership announcements with regular frequency since launch, to the stock exchanges: it has recently partnered with PayPal for payments from subscribers outside India, with PayU for UPI and net banking payments in India, and with Airtel Payments Bank as a payment option last month. It also announced a Windows 10 ‘universal’ app that works on all Windows phones, tablets, and PCs.